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Doylestown Mayor’s Report: We are being tested as never before


Many of you have heard my description of our community as extraordinary. When compared with other communities, I believe this is clearly true.

There is no denying that we are being tested, as never before. Tested in our health care delivery. Tested in our economic resilience. And tested in our commitment to justice and fairness.

As concerned as many have been with our progress toward a return to normal, I am one who believes a slow and measured restart remains the key to maintaining suppressed community transmission. As frustrating as the gradual resumption to civil life can be, that cautious resumption has the best chance of permanence.

Public health has been the driver to opening our economy safely. Social distancing is the engine and needs to be central to those broad efforts. Economic restart and recovery, underway right now, resonate with residents in so many ways and with so many suggestions. We need to find new and additional ways to listen to the creative, and even transformational thinking that is coming forward.

You may ask how it matters to us, a smaller community compared to those going through such tremendous upheaval. We are also an interconnected community to the degree that few others can relate.

Twice in as many weeks, we have played host to large protests. They have been peaceful expressions of anger and frustration. These have been calls for us to come forward and speak with moral clarity and to act with decency and honor.

I have been using the old African-American expression “trouble in the land” to describe the dark moments we are going through as a nation. Racism affects our community, whether we talk about it or not. That we lack diversity doesn’t mean that we lack the problem. Many of us feel uncomfortable talking about the problem, but the conversation has to happen. As a community, I see it as opportunity. A chance to build stronger community seizing on many opportunities.

We should take new steps to embrace it. And we should look to our faith-based communities as partners in the work.

We have effective and even enviable community policing in the Central Bucks Regional Police Department. With civilian, elected oversight that is missing in many other departments and very capable leadership within our own department, we can justly take pride in their well-deserved community trust but not satisfaction. The time has come to recommit to equal justice under the law. That needs to be central as we continue to build our regional department.

There is much to discuss and much to be done. The work extends to every board and commission created by borough council; it extends to a commitment of time and talent from council and staff. It extends to Central Bucks Regional Police and the CBRP Commission and the impressive list of nonprofits that add so much to our community.